In my past post posts, I’ve been talking a lot about the need for understanding who we are selling to, and why they would want our product. Here comes the part where I look deeper at what it is I hope to accomplish. To be more precise, “Why make games in the first place?”
When it comes down to it, I don’t believe that I actually have an answer for that question in particular just yet, but I do know one thing. To put it most simply, I want to create. I don’t exactly know what I want to create as far as what product in particular, but I want to create something that at the end of it all I can take a step back and see that I have made something. Something that one day my kids, when that time comes, can look at and know that their father had a hand in making. Something that I can share with my parents, sisters, and the rest of my family and the people I know and say “Here it is, this is what I’ve been doing with my time, this is why I’ve made the choices I’ve made coming this far.”
Personal rhetoric aside, the idea of making a game has always been an intriguing idea in the back of my head. Not just because I like playing games, maybe too much, but because I want to create so many things and video games pretty much encompass all of them. I’ve always had a desire to tell stories, and, very much more so, world build. As a big fan of franchises like the tv show Avatar: The Last Airbender, the film series Star Wars, and thee video game Destiny, a part of what really pulls me is the world surrounding the story that we’re given at face value. At the same time, I’ve spent a good majority of my spare time, and often my work time as well, drawing things. Animated films are currently and will always be my favorite form of movies, whether 2d or 3d. Which is the main reason that I’m currently attending school for an associates in 3d animation (Who even has the time to draw each frame?). Video games give me a media in which I can combine both of these passions and do something more with both of them. I can involve my viewers in the story itself. So when I show my parents, my family, my friends, my yet to be born kids the thing that I created, they can truly interact with that work that I made.
An article I read recently by Jeff Vogel on Gamasutra.com talks about the very long process of becoming a creator. in the article he gives his 5 tips on what aspiring creators should be doing with their time. The first and seemingly most obvious tip for making games is to make games. Seems simple enough, but if you don’t create games, you can’t really be a game creator, and there’s no better teacher than experience. Outside of the game we are designing for class, I’ve been working on my own idea for a tabletop game for the past 5 years in my spare time. So I feel I’m on the right track, however, I really need to work on getting finished modules done so I can have people play test. What’s a game if no one ever plays it? On that subject, Vogel’s second tip is to play games. Can you really make games if you never play games? How can you make a good sandwich if you’ve never had a good sandwich? My former manager at my current job was really big into Pathfinder and as a result, I’ve recently been more into tabletop games in general (PF, D&D, Shadowrun, etc.). Vogel then goes on to advise us to absorb all media. I may harp on how much more interactive games are to other forms of media, but that doesn’t mean that they have nothing to offer. I’ve mentioned my fondness of Star Wars and Avatar, but I’ve recently added reading comics to my list of personal vices. Vogel’s fourth tip is something I really wish I had received a lot sooner. He warns us to be careful about college, and that really hits home for me. This is my third major now since I’ve been out of high school, and it’s the first one where I’ve felt like I’m actually doing something I could see myself doing this for the rest of my life. Starting here would have definitely put me in a better position financially coming out of this program than my current situation, but there’s no use harping on the past now, and I feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be now and that’s what matters. Vogel’s fifth and final tip is to find your own voice. Essentially, everyone is a snowflake, unique in their own right, so as long as you showcase just how special of a snowflake you are, you’re on the right track, Just remember everyone else is probably doing the same thing, so learn what you can from others, but at the end of the day make sure that your work is good. But that’s why we go to school right, so I’m making an effort towards that already right.. right?